After recently becoming a full-fledged resident of Tel Aviv, I very rarely go to any of the restaurants or bars on the boardwalk near all the hotels. On a recent visit to Armando, which is located right opposite the boardwalk near tourist favorites such as Mike’s Place and Yotvata in the City, I was happy to be back in an area that reminds me so much of great vacations. This place is great for tourists because it offers refined Israeli cuisine in a beautiful central location near the sea.
The very friendly waitress, who was pleasant and helpful throughout, took our order. She made sure that we had everything we needed, and nothing was too much trouble for her. We ordered a bottle of Gamla Chardonnay (NIS 120), which was nice and dry and ended up being a good accompaniment to our meal.
For starters we had all the usual salads (NIS 35) that you find in so many Middle Eastern style restaurants, which included dishes such as tehina, spicy carrots, eggplant, red cabbage and so on. None of these salads offered anything unique but were a pleasant start to the meal.
We also ordered a portion of smoked eggplant with tehina (NIS 29), which was something a little more special. The great smoked taste of the eggplant went well with the tehina. This was by far the most interesting and tasty item that we tried.
By the time it came to the main course we were already relatively full, so we shared the sea bream (NIS 94), which came as a huge portion. The fish was well cooked and had just the right amount of seasoning. It was served with potatoes that had been roasted in the oven with rosemary, garlic and olive oil. It was a great accompaniment. There is an extensive selection of different grilled fish, which are the house specialty, and also various meat dishes.
Although by this point we were truly full, we couldn’t resist ordering some dessert. I am always wary of ordering delicious sounding desserts in kosher meat restaurants because there are times when I am simply disappointed by the overpowering parve taste that is so common in these situations. And this time I was disappointed.
I ordered a chocolate finger (NIS 34), which consisted of a chocolate cookie base with a chocolate mouse topped with caramel and nuts. I could tell that the chocolate itself was good quality, but the nuts were soggy and there was an overriding taste of parve cream that refused to go away.
My friend ordered the wild berry mousse (NIS 34), which also had a slightly synthetic taste that overpowered the dessert. The fruits themselves could have been a little fresher, too.
Overall I would recommend Armando if you are into big portions and keep kosher. It is great for tourists and residents alike who want to enjoy a good meat or fish meal while sitting right by the sea.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
Armando Kosher 88 Herbert Samuel, Tel Aviv (03) 510-1601 Open Sunday to Thursday from noon till last customer leaves, Friday from noon till one hour before Shabbat, Saturday from hour after end of Shabbat till last customer leaves.